Dear Annie: I take issue with your response to “Tired of Rude Family in Carolina,” whose inconsiderate sister and niece refuse to inform the hostess when they are bringing an additional guest (usually the niece’s boyfriend) to dinner.
The uninvited boyfriend is probably unaware of these family dynamics. Why not seat him where the inconsiderate sister would have been, next to the niece, and put the sister on the piano bench with a paper plate? After a few times of putting the sister in the hot seat, she just might get it. – JM in Tennessee
Dear J.M.: We think if the boyfriend is always being shoved into an extra chair, he is well aware of the difficulty his presence causes. However, you are absolutely right that the sister should take the hit. Read on:
Dear Annie: If this sister brings an uninvited guest to dinner every time, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Just set an extra setting as a matter of course. For many people, there is a long held tradition of setting a place for Jesus. If someone extra shows up, they are welcomed, and that is the seat they are given.
Dear Annie: I would set up a card table and put place settings of paper plates, plastic utensils and two chairs. When the “late sis” arrived, I would drape a towel over my arm and escort them to their “reserved table.” I’d put a candle in the middle, just for a little class. – Florida